Microsoft has announced a slew of new features and capabilities for Teams and Viva. The company says that these improvements are aimed at helping to “reduce stress, modernize training, and rebuild culture for those on the frontline.”
For IT Admins, Microsoft has unveiled some updates coming to the device management experience to allow frontline workers to locate and secure misplaced shared devices. In addition to the existing GPS-powered map integration in Microsoft Endpoint manager, IT Admins can now send audio notifications to easily find misplaced devices. Frontline workers who have configured their Android devices in Shared Device Mode via Azure Active Directory will be able to sign out of all supported apps with a single tap.
Microsoft is also introducing new tools to make it easier for frontline workers to manage their virtual appointments in Teams. Later this month, the new scheduled queueing feature will enable users to get real-time updates about missed appointments, wait times, as well as staffing delays. Microsoft Teams is getting a new Zebra Reflexis integration that lets managers approve shift scheduling and time-off requests directly from the app.
The Redmond giant is bringing its push-to-talk Walkie Talkie feature in Teams to iOS devices. The Walkie Talkie feature has been available on Android since 2020, and it provides instant and secure voice communication over the cloud. Furthermore, the Walkie Talkie app in Teams is now available on a bunch of Zebra mobile devices, including the sleek customer-facing EC-series.
The Viva Connections app in Microsoft Teams will add a couple of new partner integrations later this year. Microsoft says that its new strategic partnership with Workday and Espressive brings together new resources and tools (such as HR management and payroll) for frontline workers. Viva Learning is also integrating new learning solutions from its partners such as Cornerstone OnDemand, Saba Cloud, and SAP SuccessFactors.
Lastly, Microsoft has announced Microsoft Cloud for Retail, a new industry-specific cloud solution designed to enable retail frontline workers to understand and optimize the consumer shopping experience. Microsoft Cloud for Retail will become generally available on February 1, 2022.